Conversation Toolkit

Managing risk for business owners

Topic overview

The Department of Labor (DOL) considers business owners who offer workplace retirement plans to their employees to be fiduciaries. Over the last few years, the fulfillment of fiduciary liability duties has been a growing concern for the DOL and plan sponsors.

Help business owners implement the following DOL-sanctioned strategies to better manage their fiduciary risk with respect to their 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans:

  • Keep plan documents up-to-date.
  • Follow an investment policy statement.
  • Comply with ERISA Section 404(c) and use qualified default investment alternatives.
  • Implement an ongoing fiduciary review process.
  • Consider safe harbor plan designs.

Is this relevant to my clients?

Individuals could benefit from these tools if they:

  • Maintain 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans for their employees

How to Use Your Toolkit

  1. Schedule client meetings to discuss this opportunity.
  2. Email the Pre-Meeting Overview to your clients to set their expectations.
  3. Print out the Meeting Worksheet and review it together.
  4. Expand your knowledge even further and download the White Paper. Consider sharing it with your clients' CPAs, tax advisors and attorneys for more in-depth discussions.


This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be used for the purposes of avoiding penalties and taxes. Columbia Threadneedle Investments does not provide tax or legal advice. Consumers should consult with their tax advisor or attorney regarding their specific situation.